Why do emeralds have inclusions?
Well, I have to tell you how emeralds are formed if I'm really gonna answer that question for you.
This is David Saad from Skyjems.ca.
Thank you all so much for joining me for "How Are Emeralds Formed and Why Do They Have Inclusions".
So, first off, as I said, I do need to tell you how emeralds are formed for me to explain why it is that emeralds have inclusions.
So emeralds are four base elements and that is Beryllium, Aluminum, Silicon, and Oxygen.
Those four base elements are found generally fairly high up in the Earth.
Now, what gives emeralds their emerald green colour is Chromium and Vanadium.
Chromium and Vanadium are always found deep inside the Earth unless there is massive seismic activity, which is gonna bring that Chromium and Vanadium up to the Earth's surface.
What ends up happening there, if we're very lucky, I mean, just crazy lucky, is that the Beryl, which may already have started to be formed, or the elements that are gonna create the Beryl – the Beryllium, Aluminum, Silicon, and Oxygen – those are gonna meet that Chromium and Vanadium.
If we're very lucky.
I mean, we're talking one in millions chances.
They're gonna meet.
And they will have met at a time which makes it fortuitous for us to come along anything from about 50 million to 500 million years later to find these beautiful green gems inside the Earth.
During all of this upheaval, any part of the Beryl crystal that had already formed is going to be damaged.
And that is one of the reasons that emeralds have inclusions in them.
The next reason that emeralds have inclusions in them is because when these elements finally do come together, they have very, very different atomic sizes.
And the Chromium and Vanadium need to come into the Beryl crystal and knock an Aluminum molecule out of place.
Now, because there's a very large size difference, molecularly, between Aluminum and Chromium and Vanadium, as elements, as they go in – and they join, and they bind with the Beryl crystal, and that crystal continues to grow, it creates stress.
And the more Chromium and Vanadium that goes into that crystal, the more deep and rich and saturated the green is.
Which is a reason that you can often find very light, unsaturated emeralds that look quite clean, but anything that has nice colour to it, we're always finding inclusions.
Because there's more of that Chromium and Vanadium in the crystal as it grows, adding pressure and stressing the crystal as it continues to grow.
And there is still a third reason that emeralds always have inclusions.
And that is how we, as humans, mine them out of the Earth.
Emeralds are almost always found in hard rock deposits, which means that we need to drill, or hammer them out with a pickaxe, or blast them to get at the material.
And any of these are going to damage the crystal.
The vibrations from the pickaxe or from the drill, or from a jackhammer, or of course obviously from explosives, are gonna damage the crystal.
That is why emeralds have inclusions, and that is also why the more rich the colour of an emerald is, generally, the more included it is, and why it is that dark, clean gems that are even approaching eye clean or near eye clean get into hundreds of thousands of dollars per carat or more.
Thank you all so much for watching.
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Bye for now.